When a divorce takes place, the two former spouses move on with their lives separately. In doing so, they are often presented with new circumstances that change their life. Some people may experience changes, whether it may be a job offer or family matters, that require them to move. While this can be an exciting time in their life, it can also be difficult in the event that they are a parent who shares custody.
In these situations, most parents want to bring their child with them when they have to relocate. However, it is often the case that the other parent opposes the move, as they want their child to stay close to them as well. Parents facing these situations may need to go through a trial to settle this matter. Continue reading below to learn more about these situations and contact an experienced New Jersey family law attorney for assistance with your case.
Physical Custody vs Legal Custody
When child custody is established, physical custody and legal custody will be determined. Physical custody designates a child’s custodial parent, who is the individual the child will live with the majority of the time. However, a child does spend time in the non-custodial parent’s home as well. Separate from this, legal custody determines the influence a parent has in their child’s upbringing. This allows them to be involved in making important decisions regarding the child, such as medical treatment, education, religion, and even relocation. Parents who are not awarded physical custody should still fight for legal custody of their child so that they have a say in important matters in the child’s life, such as relocation.
New Jersey Relocation Laws
In 2017, the New Jersey Supreme Court signed a new law regarding relocation. It stated that all courts are required to make child-related decisions with the “best interest” standard. This means put the child’s best interest first. During relocation cases, this requires the parent to prove that relocation would be in the best interest of the child despite moving away from their other parent. In order for the court to reach a conclusion regarding what is in the child’s best interest, the court will consider the following factors:
- The bond between the child and each parent
- The impact of the move on the child’s established relationships
- Social life
- The reasons for and against the move
- Other implications of the child and custodial parent moving
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